Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

Larry R. Fauver

Committee Members

Andy Puckett, Alvaro Taboada, Marianne Wanamaker

Abstract

This dissertation examines politically-connected equity analysts, i.e., analysts that make large political donations. I find that these big donor analysts make more accurate earnings forecasts than other small donor and non-donor analysts, and the accuracy of these forecasts decreases after a big donor analyst ceases his donations. These analysts become more accurate after they become large political donors, suggesting their enhanced performance derives from an advantage gained via their political activity. These results are stronger when (i) the analyst works or lives in the state represented by the benefiting politician, and (ii) the benefiting politician serves on a Congressional committee that regulates the covered firm. Overall, these results suggest that big donor analysts benefit from relationships with politicians who possess knowledge that impacts firms’ prospects.

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